How to remove channel recommendations permanently on YouTube

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YouTube's new What to Watch page is a mess. It offers a mixture of updates from channels that you are subscribed to and popular channels on YouTube that the site's algorithm thinks you will like as well.

My main issue here is that there is apparently no way to block certain channels from being listed here.

While you can click on the three dots on the right side of the channel row -- it only appears when you hover the mouse cursor over the channel -- and select hide these videos from the menu that is displayed, it won't really help as the video suggestions appear again on the next reload of the page.

This is without doubt one of the most annoying features of YouTube. Why have an option to hide video suggestions if they are displayed again on reload?

I spend a lot of time this morning trying to figure out a way to resolve the issue. I tried several userscripts that promised to remove channels from YouTube but all did not work anymore.

Eventually though I found a solution that appears to work fine, so here it is:

Open the YouTube homepage. The What to Watch page should be displayed here by default.  Locate a channel that you want to remove permanently.

youtube what to watch homepage

Click on the channel name. This opens the profile page of that channel. Click on the About link here at the top of the page.

about page

Here you find information about the channel. The interesting bit here when it comes to removing channels from YouTube's What to Watch page is the little flag icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

Click on the icon and select block users from the options menu.

block user youtube

Note that it takes a couple of reloads before the suggestion disappears. While I was not able to verify the following, it seemed to help to use the hide these videos option on the page to get rid of the channel suggestion completely.

While that removes the suggested video channels for good from YouTube's homepage, it won't remove the suggestions. This means that YouTube will display other channel suggestions to you instead which you may or may not like as well.

It is not possible to hide those suggestions on the page. The best way to resolve this is to always open the My Subscriptions page directly when you visit YouTube instead of the What to Watch page.

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How to block popular channel suggestions on YouTube
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How to hide suggestions on YouTube permanently.
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Responses to How to remove channel recommendations permanently on YouTube

  1. marius t April 17, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Or we can always delete the cookies for youtube,but then al youtube settings won't stick,witch is annoying,especially when using youtube center script!

  2. Dave April 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    youtube is a mess. the comment system sucks and the interface is horrid... i use it everyday and am punished by it all the time. i wonder who in Google decides this - he clearly needs to get fired!

  3. Pants April 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Or you could just remove the offending element in with a user style (Stylish) or Script (Greasemonkey) .. or any other such fork. I don't have a YT account, I do not allow YT cookies, and I know not what or where this "What to Watch" page is, so I haven't had a look at the element, but it shouldn't be hard to slap a block on it, or at a bare minimum assign a display:none to it.

  4. PhoneyVirus April 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    @Dave Your definitely right on that one, If Google stop changing everything once a week it would be okay. There was a time were I was going to move all my email over to Outlook because of this crap, and that's exactly why I give up on Google services. Email and a place to load pictures for my little blog that's it.

    Thanks for the little Tutorial Martin.

  5. dasmonsta April 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    God damn I hate youtube now, we should not have to do this or have stupid ass recommendations that I clearly dont watch or like. they fucked up everything with the new style.

  6. JJ April 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    This fix does not seem to work now on Win7 Pro.
    There is no little flag icon in the lower left corner anymore.
    Apparently utube took it away.
    I have tried this trick a hundred times I swear and I can not find the little flag icon in the lower left corner, or any other place on the screen.

    Maybe I just am doing it wrong.
    If someone can be a little more clear about how to find the elusive flag icon it would be very much appreciated.

    • Martin Brinkmann April 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      The flag icon is displayed on the left side. Depending on how much content is available on the about page, it may be displayed near the top left, or the bottom left corner on that screen.

      Are you signed in while you look at the page?

  7. Albin July 13, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    I found a fix for the "recommended" boxes at the top of What to Watch - thanks to a couple of YouTube vids:

    Go to History
    Clear All Watch History
    Pause Watch History
    Reload

    That seems to leave only my subscriptions at the top of the page - Now to get rid of the "Popular" junk that is suddenly piled up at the bottom of the page. I am trying the new Adblock Plus feature here:

    https://adblockplus.org/blog/pure-youtube-video-experience

    Can't recommend it yet.

  8. bata August 27, 2014 at 12:41 am #

    As well as others who ended up here looking for a way to remove that intrusive feature You Tube has brought in, I did tried to follow procedure described above. It worked....until i used CCleaner ( as a regular weekly procedure ). It made my blood pressure boiled, literary. Like, why would I like to watch some wannabe`s singers and belly dancers, some idiotic gamers, who`s life seems to be depending on a number of "likes" !!!?? To make one thing clear, I got nothing against it, just not my type of entertainment. Before this I`ve found a solution that ended this and it was based on a script that blocked this feature. Unfortunately, it lasted just few days after which YouTube prevailed :( . In my opinion, this latest invention will be hard to get rid of, simply because it`s about advertising... or $$$$$$$$ ( lots of it ) to be exact, right ? If anyone comes with permanent solution for this, believe me I`ll be first in line.

    PS. Ad Block Plus does not work after these changes ( you`ll get whole page blank as someone mentioned it before ).

  9. easy August 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Here's how do you remove the channel recommdation. You go to "My Subscriptions" page which link is next to "What to watch" on the top of home page, then you'll see a list of "Recommended channels" on your right hand of the page. Put your mouse on anyone of those channels with out clicking, you'll see a small cross mark just next to the right of the name of channel. Click the cross, then that channel will not shown on your "What to watch" page.

    • Rika-chama September 7, 2014 at 4:02 am #

      the crappy thing about that is you have to actually, do EACH ONE INDIVIDUALLY and WHO KNOWS if it will ever completely work.

      The MAIN issue is that google is NOT interested in giving us what we want. Google is interested in making sh1ttons of money off of ads and recommended clickings. Somebody developing some sort of greasemonkey script is probably the best recourse we'll have, because, like I said before. Google isn't interested in giving us what we want (unless of course, what we 'want' is more advertising)...

      /cynicism

  10. sdfsd September 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Blocking someone on youtube NEVER worked.
    Whoever wrote this article, clearly just saw the block function, and just assumes that it works...
    I am looking for a way to actually block people on youtube for YEARS!
    But the only ways, involve weird tools, that basically opens your computer to every kind of harmfull stuff.

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